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MICHAEL AVON JOHNSON v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Jury instruction — Self-defense/necessity

Following a trial in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, a jury convicted appellant, Michael Avon Johnson, of two counts of possession of a regulated firearm after conviction of a disqualifying offense and two counts of wearing, carrying, and transporting a firearm.

The trial court sentenced Johnson to a total of 30 years in prison, suspending all but 14 years, after which he timely noted this appeal.1 Johnson presents three questions for our consideration, which we have consolidated and rephrased, as follows: 1. Did the trial court err in denying Johnson the opportunity to present evidence of self-defense/necessity and in refusing to instruct the jury on that defense? 2. Did the trial court commit plain error in allowing improper closing argument by the prosecutor?

Read the opinion here: